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This Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde is going to be on repeat all throughout grilling season. The chicken is marinated with tropical island flavors, garlic, fresh thyme, a touch of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and plenty of fresh lime. Serve with a charred lemon and mango salsa verde for a fresh pop of flavor and color. All made in just about 30 minutes. It doesn’t get easier or more delicious than this grilled chicken. Perfect for everything from weeknight grilling to weekend cookouts with friends.

overhead photo of Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde

I am only now just realizing this, but this week has really been all about grilling and Memorial Day recipes. Which I guess is fitting, seeing as Memorial Day is Monday. Truthfully, I tend to steer clear of recipes for the grill because our grilling season here is super short. Not to mention that our nights are pretty cold. Did you know there are only about 30 frost free days per year here?

Anyway, I still love to embrace the warmer months and create a handful of delicious grill recipes…mostly with all of you in mind. Plus, we always travel back to Ohio to visit with family in the summer (hot midwest summer are the best!). Cleveland (and most of the country), has perfect grilling weather, and is where I put recipes like this to use!

Enter in this tropical jerk grilled chicken. It’s 100% inspired by my trip the Caribbean last summer. While traveling around through the different islands, we ate a lot of jerked dishes. Everything from chicken, to seafood, and even a really unique jerk chicken burrito. A lot of the dishes we enjoyed were heavily seasoned with fresh thyme and heat from chili peppers. I remember thinking that I had to recreate those flavors once I returned home, they were so delicious.

Of course, the summer got away from me, and I never got a chance to make a good jerk chicken. So I’m excited to finally being sharing this recipe today. The flavors take me back to our time in the Caribbean sun. They also get me so excited for our upcoming trip Costa Rica this summer!

Desperately craving warmth and sunshine right now! My mom has been sending me photos of very snowy Colorado. I have to say, I am so glad to be in LA this week. Kind of crazy that I’m talking about summer and snow within the same post, huh?

Charred Mangos and lemons

I love that this chicken brings back so many good memories of my family’s time in the Caribbean last summer. It’s always fun when a recipe is not only delicious, but has special memories attached to it as well!!

If you’re new to jerk chicken, it’s a Caribbean dish often made on the islands of Jamaica. They use a lot of unique spices that I wouldn’t normally think to toss on chicken. But I found them to be incredibly delicious and such a nice change from your average, everyday grilled chicken.

Charred Mango Salsa Verde

I will say that my jerk chicken probably is not the most traditional, but it’s my own adaption of the dish! I like to add plenty of garlic and fresh thyme, lots of lime, and include key spices like cinnamon, all-spice, and cayenne pepper. The cinnamon and all-spice really tame the chicken and give it a nice warmth and delicious flavor. With the first bite you’ll be a bit surprised by the flavor…but in the best way possible…it’s delicious.

Me being me, I of course like to take things a step further. I simply can’t resist, I guess it’s just what I do.

So, in comes the charred mango salsa verde. Honestly? This is my favorite element to this recipe, so please, please, please, do not skip it. It’s sweet, spicy, a touch salty, and takes the jerk chicken from great to something really pretty, exciting, and beyond good.

overhead close up photo of Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde

My secret? I add an extra layer of flavor by charring the lemons, shallots, and mangos I use in the salsa verde. Yes, this is an extra step. But since we already have food on the grill, it really only takes a minute or two longer. And the added flavor is so worth it.

I use the entire lemon, peel and all, which I know might sound really odd. But because we are charring the lemon, it really mellows out the bitterness, thus creating a sweet and juicy citrus punch with each and every bite. I like to pair the lemons with plenty of mango chunks and fresh herbs, making the salsa especially delicious.

The perfect topping for a jerk chicken, which is otherwise colorless when coming off the grill. I’d recommend serving this with your favorite steamed rice or even yesterday’s potato pesto salad. An equally great recipe to serve up on a busy weeknight, or for a relaxing weekend of BBQ’ing.

overhead photo of Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken

If you make this Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Charred Mango Salsa Verde

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 413 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Lemony Mango Salsa Verde

Instructions

  • 1. In a gallon size zip top bag, combine the chicken, olive oil, garlic, thyme, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, all-spice, lime zest, lime juice, and a large pinch of pepper and salt. Marinate for 10 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
    2. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat.
    3. To make the salsa verde. In a medium bowl, toss the lemons, shallots, and half of the mango with a little olive oil. Place on the grill. Grill until slightly charred, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and let cool. Finely chop the lemon (peel and all) and shallots and add back to the bowl. Dice both the grilled and fresh mangos and add to the bowl. Then add the apple cider vinegar, jalapeño, basil, cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Add in the remaining olive oil. Stir to combine, taste and adjust salt as needed.
    4. Grill the chicken for 5-8 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the grill. 
    5. Serve the chicken topped with the salsa verde.
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Comments

  1. Omg Teighan I just made this and it blew my mind! Currently in a food coma!! Thank you for your recipes, they are so reliable and fail proof.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe – so flavourful. The salsa is a must. I’m really glad I trusted the recipe and kept the lemon rind after grilling.

  3. 4 stars
    During the COVID-19 quarantine, I’ve been cooking up a storm, and at a dozen recipes from this blog. Your approach to flavors and ingredients are so inspiring! We’ve been cooking a lot of chicken so I adapted this recipe for pork chops instead, which turned out marvelously flavorful. For the mango salsa, I chose to use homemade preserved lemon peel instead. Admittedly I was hesitant about using the charred lemon in its entirety as the peel still seemed so bitter to me, but maybe I’ll be a risk taker next time. Thanks so much for the recipes!

  4. 5 stars
    Omg this was so good. We sliced the chicken and threw it in a taco with the mango salsa and sliced avocado. AMAZING

  5. Recipe looks so amazing, I can’t wait to try it! But, apartment living….. how would you recommend cooking this recipe without . a grill or grill pan? Thanks!

    1. Hey Savannah! You can roast the chicken at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. That works amazingly well! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Ashley! Yes, fish will be great! I recommend salmon or mahi mahi! YUM! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious, delicious, delicious! I made this last night to rave reviews from the family. Served it with some simple brown rice that soaked up all the juices from the sauce. It started raining just I was about to grill so I cooked the chicken inside on a grill pan instead. So good!

  7. 5 stars
    WOW. JUST WOW. This was so good, I cannot even explain it! I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical on chopping up the lemon, peel and all and I was definitely pleasantly surprised! My salsa ended up a little heavier on the cilantro side (I came up a tad short in the basil department) but was still amazing. Chicken thighs were moist, and the flavor of the meat itself was wonderful, (I marinated for a couple hours) but the salsa on top was a real treat. Thank you for really livening up my dinner table, so glad I stumbled across your blog!

    1. I am so glad you stumbled across my blog!! Thank you so much for making this and I hope you continue to love my blog! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    This is one of the best chicken recipes I have ever eaten and the friends who came to lunch devoured it with great relish too.
    It was easy to prep. and I roasted it in the oven which retained the moistness of the chicken.
    I served it with your pesto, potato salad, cauliflower rice salad and made some Jamaican coco buns using a can of coconut milk which I can highly recommend.
    I love your recipes and have cooked many of them and can honestly say I haven’t been disappointed with any of them. They combine simplicity with panache, not an easy thing to achieve but you nail it!

    1. Yum!! I am so glad you loved this recipe, Helen! Thank you so much for trying this and others! xTieghan

  9. Does the salsa work in a cast iron skillet? We don’t have a grill. Apartment living! Can any of this be made ahead?

    1. HI there! Yes, you can char the salsa in a skillet, that will be great1 You can also make the salsa ahead of time and marinate the chicken too (just keep in the fridge until ready to cook). Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  10. Could I make this with fish? We have some fresh grouper, would that work? How long would you marinade the fish and cook it is so? I love all your recipes and can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hi Emily! I am sure that will be great and sounds delicious! I would marinate 10-30 minutes and just be sure to adjust the cooking time for the fish. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  11. This looks amazing! Would the jerk seasoning be ok on shrimp? If yes, how long would you recommend marinating the shrimp?

    1. Yes, shrimp will be delicious with this seasoning blend. I would cook the shrimp 2-3 minutes per side until they turn pink. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan